SBRI Healthcare awards almost £1M to Yorkshire based digital health care service

A Yorkshire technology business, Red Embedded Systems Ltd, is developing a digital health care service called v-connect to improve the care of people with learning disabilities in the community, thanks to funding from a Small Business Research Initiative for Healthcare (SBRI Healthcare) competition championed by Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network (AHSN).

The innovative partnership, led by Shipley based, Red Embedded Systems Ltd, has been awarded almost £1m for the project, BOLD-TC (Better Outcomes for People with Learning Disabilities – Transforming Care), which will link video-consultation with local or remote vital sign monitoring and the ability to measure the impact of these systems on individuals and those that support them.

Adam Hoare, the v-connect service’s managing director, said “This is a really exciting cross-disciplinary project, which has the potential to transform the way we support people with learning disabilities to manage their own health and wellbeing.

“We were delighted to have won the contract to develop innovative technology which, through our v-connect service, will make a huge difference to people’s lives.”

Funded by a Phase 2 development contract awarded by the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) Healthcare competition, BOLD-TC will collaborate with care providers and their clients to explore how multi-way video calling, remote video and other services through mobile devices, together with remote monitoring of vital signs can help people with learning disabilities remain in their community, increasing their independence and improving their health and wellbeing.

v-connect links those who need care to their families and to healthcare professionals through simple to use video communication using their TV, tablet or mobile device.

The project will install video-communication equipment in people’s homes and explore the development of multi-way calling between relevant people, the remote monitoring of blood pressure and other vital signs to address and issues as soon as possible and the evaluation of information.

Phillipa Hedley-Takhar from Yorkshire & Humber ASHN said: “This is a fantastic example how technology companies can be challenged to come forward with projects which will help to improve health care.

“v-connect have developed an innovative way to improve the quality of life and importantly independence for people with learning disabilities.”

The Small Business Research Initiative for Healthcare (SBRI Healthcare) is an NHS England initiative, championed by the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs), which supports a programme of competitions inviting companies to come forward with their ideas and new technologies for known NHS challenges. These ideas are assessed and a fully funded development contract is agreed between the company and the NHS.

The SBRI Healthcare programme has two primary-phases that start with an initial identification of unmet need, undertaken by clinicians. Challenges are offered to industry to test the feasibility of their ideas and these projects, if successful, can result in a contract to develop the product

SBRI Healthcare is a fast track, simplified process that enables the NHS to work with industry to tackle known challenges. Targeted at SMEs and early stage businesses it gives vital funding for a critical stage of product development.

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